clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stevenson vs Fonfara II: Fight preview and analysis

Adonis Stevenson and Andrzej Fonfara rematch this Saturday on Showtime.

Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson v Thomas Williams Jr. Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

Record: 28-1 (23 KO) ... Streak: W15 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Southpaw ... Height/Reach: 5'11" / 77" ... Age: 39

Thoughts: A very good fighter who hasn’t tested himself much as WBC light heavyweight champion. And every time he fights, it’s worth noting that he’s getting up there in years. Now 39, Stevenson’s gifts could bail on him in any given fight.

That’s about the most intriguing thing I can think of with this fight. Fonfara gave Stevenson arguably his best fight as champion back in 2014. That was three years ago, and there were decent times to make a rematch, but this is a questionable rematch now.

Stevenson is a weird fighter in that he doesn’t do anything particularly special, but like many have over the years, he’s learned to accentuate his positives — notably a blistering left hand — and pretty much eliminate his negatives. His chin was questioned after a 2010 loss to Darnell Boone (which was avenged in 2013), but it’s not been a problem for him at any point since. A large part of the credit is due to Emmanuel Steward, who had taken over training Stevenson until Steward passed away. Adonis still flies the Kronk flag and has stayed consistent in the years since.

Sidenote: This is Stevenson’s first fight at Centre Bell in Montreal since his 2014 bout with Fonfara.

Andrzej Fonfara

Andrzej Fonfara v Chad Dawson Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Record: 29-4 (17 KO) ... Streak: W1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 8-2 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 6'2½" / 77" ... Age: 29

Thoughts: A scrappy fighter with a lot of heart, Fonfara has had an interesting run since his loss to Stevenson. He beat Doudou Ngumbu five months later, then dismantled Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2015, in what wound up an almost comical mismatch when Chavez tried to fight someone his own size.

A gritty and bloody win over Nathan Cleverly was a highlight fight of 2015, too. Then came Joe Smith Jr, a largely unknown New York club fighter. When it was announced that Fonfara-Smith would headline a PBC on NBC card in June 2016, the whole thing was laughed off, but not so much due to Smith’s perceived quality (or lack thereof), more due to the fight’s lack of real appeal as a network TV headline fight.

In the end, Smith got the last laugh, traveling to Fonfara’s base in Chicago and stopping him in 2:32. That fight propelled Smith to a meeting with Bernard Hopkins, another knockout win, and now, Smith is riding high, scheduled to go first on an HBO triple-header in July. ...I mean, y’know.

But Fonfara didn’t duck back into tune-ups. He faced Chad Dawson in March of this year, and rallied to score a TKO in the 10th and final round. Dawson is a good bit past his prime, but still presented some matchup problems for Fonfara until Fonfara’s relentlessness just overwhelmed him late, which is credit to Fonfara for not giving up in a fight where he was, by all ringside accounts, losing pretty clearly.

Matchup Grade: C. If I had been doing this format in 2014 ahead of their first fight, I’d have given the matchup a D+, I suspect, and that wound up a pretty decent fight. But while competitive, it was a clear Stevenson win, and nothing suggests that this matchup has changed in the last three years. Stevenson was better than Fonfara then, and Fonfara hasn’t really gotten better, and Stevenson hasn’t really gotten worse. There was some demand for a rematch at some point, but we’re getting it past its sell-by date.


  • Eleider Alvarez vs Jean Pascal: Roughly as compelling as the main event, and could be more interesting if Pascal, 34, has a good night. Alvarez, 33, is coming off of a nice win over Lucian Bute where he showed some fire for once after getting cut, and as a result knocked Bute out. Is Pascal as washed as Bute? Maybe, maybe not. Pascal is tough to figure out in some ways. I’m every bit as interested in this one as I am the main event, and think it’s probably more competitive on paper — but don’t ignore that there’s a chance Pascal is a weathered fighter cashing out with the biggest fight he can find. Grade: C+
  • Custio Clayton vs Oscar Cortez: Clayton (11-0, 9 KO) is a former Olympian for Canada and now a decent looking welterweight prospect. At 29, he’s kind of at an age as a prospect where it’s time to get going or not. Cortez (26-2, 14 KO) has a pretty good looking W-L record, but it’s extremely empty, and it’s not even one of those cases where his losses came against good fighters. Clayton shouldn’t have any trouble.
  • Mikael Zewski vs Fernando Silva: Zewski (27-1, 21 KO) was once seen as a strong prospect at 147, but a wide loss in 2015 to Konstantin Ponomarev derailed him. He fought five months after that and won a tune-up, but this is his first outing since October 2015. Silva (15-10-3, 6 KO) is a rust-shaker opponent. Zewski, 28, could still wind up getting a title shot or something. I mean, Kevin Bizier and Jo Jo Dan got welterweight title shots in recent memory.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook